All About the Gastric Balloon
The Gastric Balloon consists of a soft silicone balloon that is inserted into the stomach in a deflated form by endoscopy. Then with a catheter it is filled with sterile saline between 400 and 700 cc, leaving a large balloon floating in the stomach.
This is done by endoscopy with sedation, without surgery and on an outpatient basis.
How does the Gastric Balloon work?
The gastric balloon inside the stomach produces a sensation of permanent satiety and an easy filling with small amounts of food.
This is due to the Gastric Balloon occupying 60% of gastric capacity decreasing dietary intake of the day very significantly.
This makes it very easy for the patient to comply with a diet and a program of modification of eating habits and lifestyle.
The average weight loss with the Gastric Balloon is 44 lb (20 kg). Excess weight of 66 lb (30 kg) or less generally achieves the total loss of overweight. Some patients have managed to lose more than 66 lb (30 kg) in BMI groups over 40.
The final objective sought in the Obesity Group of the Clinica Medellín, is that the patient can achieve a significant weight loss with the Gastric Balloon and that it is retained in time through a change in lifestyle and a recovery of normal eating habits, accompanied by the Multidisciplinary Group.
The Gastric Balloon can be used by people that have not achieved to lose weight in a significant way with other treatments and are overweight between 13 lb (6 kg) and 66 lb (30 kg) (see weight chart).
It is also recommended to people overweight over 66 lb (30 kg) who do not want to undergo the risks of surgery.
The treatment is accompanied by a multidisciplinary group of Specialists of the Clinica Medellin integrated by Nutritionist, Deportologist, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Internist and Surgeon Endoscopist with the purpose of accompanying the patient during the treatment to recover an adequate weight, a good eating habits and the physical activity.
Patients who have undergone this method in their vast majority have not only lost weight significantly but have regained a healthy lifestyle.
The Gastric Balloon is recommended for 6 months, time after which it should be removed, as the silicone material begins to weaken and may lose its contents.
If the patient needs a greater weight loss than is usually achieved within 6 months (66 lb/30 kg), a second Gastric Balloon can be placed at the time of the first one’s removal.
The Intragastric Balloon is removed by means of endoscopy. It is done through deep sedation, a catheter is inserted to puncture the Gastric Balloon and completely deflate it. Finally, by means of an extractor, the Intragastric Balloon is taken and withdrawn through the mouth.
In the first two days there is a sensation of fullness, sometimes accompanied by vomiting and abdominal pain. These symptoms are controlled by placing medications that in the great majority are not necessary for more than two days.
From the third to the eighth day in most cases the complete recovery is achieved.
Symptoms after this period are usually mild and occasional leaving the effect of the Gastric Balloon which is easy filling with small amounts of food.